WASHINGTON (BP) -- A congressional committee has approved a bill seeking to place a limitation on the District of Columbia's unfettered abortion policy.
The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee voted 18-14 Wednesday (July 18) to send the District of Columbia Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act to the full chamber. The vote on H.R. 3803 came along party lines, with Republicans in the majority.
The legislation would prohibit abortions in the District of Columbia at 20 weeks or more after fertilization based on evidence a baby in the womb experiences pain by that point.
If enacted, it would provide a restriction in a jurisdiction that has legalized abortion throughout pregnancy until birth. In its findings, the bill points out the D.C. council "repealed all limitations on abortion at any stage of pregnancy" in 2004.
Congress has authority over the District of Columbia under the U.S. Constitution.
Southern Baptist ethicist Richard Land urged committee leaders in a July 18 letter to back the bill.
"t is alarming that Congress ... allows this heinous practice of aborting pain-capable unborn children to continue in the nation's capital," said Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. "This atrocious practice must be stopped." Continued...